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Concept: Fiction


Peer-reviewed publications focusing on climate change are growing exponentially with the consequence that the uptake and influence of individual papers varies greatly. Here, we derive metrics of narrativity from psychology and literary theory, and use these metrics to test the hypothesis that more narrative climate change writing is more likely to be influential, using citation frequency as a proxy for influence. From a sample of 732 scientific abstracts drawn from the climate change literature, we find that articles with more narrative abstracts are cited more often. This effect is closely associated with journal identity: higher-impact journals tend to feature more narrative articles, and these articles tend to be cited more often. These results suggest that writing in a more narrative style increases the uptake and influence of articles in climate literature, and perhaps in scientific literature more broadly.

Concepts: Scientific method, Academic publishing, Science, Fiction, Theory, Literature, Publishing, Narrative


The current study investigated whether fiction experiences change empathy of the reader. Based on transportation theory, it was predicted that when people read fiction, and they are emotionally transported into the story, they become more empathic. Two experiments showed that empathy was influenced over a period of one week for people who read a fictional story, but only when they were emotionally transported into the story. No transportation led to lower empathy in both studies, while study 1 showed that high transportation led to higher empathy among fiction readers. These effects were not found for people in the control condition where people read non-fiction. The study showed that fiction influences empathy of the reader, but only under the condition of low or high emotional transportation into the story.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Fiction, Novel, Empathy, Emotion, The Reader, Short story


Understanding others' mental states is a crucial skill that enables the complex social relationships that characterize human societies. Yet little research has investigated what fosters this skill, which is known as Theory of Mind (ToM), in adults. We present five experiments showing that reading literary fiction led to better performance on tests of affective ToM (experiments 1 to 5) and cognitive ToM (experiments 4 and 5) compared with reading nonfiction (experiments 1), popular fiction (experiments 2 to 5), or nothing at all (experiments 2 and 5). Specifically, these results show that reading literary fiction temporarily enhances ToM. More broadly, they suggest that ToM may be influenced by engagement with works of art.

Concepts: Sociology, Science, Fiction, Mind, Literature, Theory of mind, Art, Genre fiction


Readers often describe vivid experiences of voices and characters in a manner that has been likened to hallucination. Little is known, however, of how common such experiences are, nor the individual differences they may reflect. Here we present the results of a 2014 survey conducted in collaboration with a national UK newspaper and an international book festival. Participants (n=1566) completed measures of reading imagery, inner speech, and hallucination-proneness, including 413 participants who provided detailed free-text descriptions of their reading experiences. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that reading imagery was related to phenomenological characteristics of inner speech and proneness to hallucination-like experiences. However, qualitative analysis of reader’s accounts suggested that vivid reading experiences were marked not just by auditory phenomenology, but also their tendency to cross over into non-reading contexts. This supports social-cognitive accounts of reading while highlighting a role for involuntary and uncontrolled personality models in the experience of fictional characters.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Fiction, Experience, Knowledge, Novel, Quantitative research, Style


Abstract Background: No prior study has empirically characterized the association between health risks and reading popular fiction depicting violence against women. Fifty Shades-a blockbuster fiction series-depicts pervasive violence against women, perpetuating a broader social narrative that normalizes these types of risks and behaviors in women’s lives. The present study characterized the association between health risks in women who read and did not read Fifty Shades; while our cross-sectional study design precluded causal determinations, an empirical representation of the health risks in women consuming the problematic messages in Fifty Shades is made. Methods: Females ages 18 to 24 (n=715), who were enrolled in a large Midwestern university, completed a cross-sectional online survey about their health behaviors and Fifty Shades' readership. The analysis included 655 females (219 who read at least the first Fifty Shades novel and 436 who did not read any part of Fifty Shades). Age- and race-adjusted multivariable models characterized Fifty Shades' readers and nonreaders on intimate partner violence victimization (experiencing physical, sexual and psychological abuse, including cyber-abuse, at some point during their lifetime); binge drinking (consuming five or more alcoholic beverages on six or more days in the last month); sexual practices (having five or more intercourse partners and/or one or more anal sex partner during their lifetime); and using diet aids or fasting for 24 or more hours at some point during their lifetime. Results: One-third of subjects read Fifty Shades (18.6%, or 122/655, read all three novels, and 14.8%, or 97/655, read at least the first novel but not all three). In age- and race-adjusted models, compared with nonreaders, females who read at least the first novel (but not all three) were more likely than nonreaders to have had, during their lifetime, a partner who shouted, yelled, or swore at them (relative risk [RR]=1.25) and who delivered unwanted calls/text messages (RR=1.34); they were also more likely to report fasting (RR=1.80) and using diet aids (RR=1.77) at some point during their lifetime. Compared with nonreaders, females who read all three novels were more likely to report binge drinking in the last month (RR=1.65) and to report using diet aids (RR=1.65) and having five or more intercourse partners during their lifetime (RR=1.63). Conclusions: Problematic depictions of violence against women in popular culture-such as in film, novels, music, or pornography-create a broader social narrative that normalizes these risks and behaviors in women’s lives. Our study showed strong correlations between health risks in women’s lives-including violence victimization-and consumption of Fifty Shades, a fiction series that portrays violence against women. While our cross-sectional study cannot determine temporality, the order of the relationship may be inconsequential; for example, if women experienced adverse health behaviors first (e.g., disordered eating), reading Fifty Shades might reaffirm those experiences and potentially aggravate related trauma. Likewise, if women read Fifty Shades before experiencing the health behaviors assessed in our study, it is possible that the book influenced the onset of these behaviors by creating an underlying context for the behaviors.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Cross-sectional study, Alcoholism, Fiction, Novel


As a novel therapeutic method for erectile dysfunction (ED), low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave treatment (LI-ESWT) has been applied recently in the clinical setting. We feel that a summary of the current literature and a systematic review to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of LI-ESWT for ED would be helpful for physicians who are interested in using this modality to treat patients with ED.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Fiction, Efficacy, The Current, Erectile dysfunction, Shock wave



Recent advancements in the management of colorectal liver metastases have resulted in an improvement in survival. Novel biomarkers such as KRAS, and their mutations potentially predict the response of biological therapies such as cetuximab (Erbitux). This paper evaluates the use of cetuximab in the first-line management of colorectal liver metastases.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Colorectal cancer, Fiction, Novel, Cetuximab, Panitumumab, Kras


The novel crystalline alloys CdTe-CuInTe2 were synthesized. The photoinduced spectral changes of the anharmonic phonon modes were explored by cw CO2 laser at power about 2 kW in the vicinity of the 1650 cm(-1) mode. The changes of the intensities for principal phonon modes were found. These modes were assigned both to harmonic as well as anharmonic modes. All the measurements are studied after the Ir illumination. The performed quantum chemical calculations with application of the norm-conserving pseudopotential method and Green functions allow to identify the origin of the content dependent anharmonic phonon modes. Some correlation between the intensities of the corresponding phonon modes at about 1600-1700 cm(-1) and the corresponding IR induced changes were found.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Light, Laser, Chemistry, Chemical bond, Fiction, Phonon, Infrared


Endoscopic third ventriculostomy is an established method for treating hydrocephalus. The third ventriculostomy site is considered a safe area that can be disrupted during surgical endoscopic procedures. The question of the clinical consequences of an apparently unavoidable injury to the floor of the third ventricle has been sporadically addressed in the literature. The aim of this study is to describe our anatomical and operative findings during endoscopic procedures performed in fluorescent mode after intravenous fluorescein injection and address the possible role of fluorescein-enhanced visualization of the median eminence as an accessory tool in order to partially spare this functional structure when performing ventriculostomy.

Concepts: Fiction, Performance, Neurosurgery, Play, Ventricular system